My notes from: Some Thoughts on Interviewing and Why We Do It (Jason Wong's Blog)

Two things:

  1. We’re terrible at assessing potential
    Multi-billion dollar sports teams get this wrong in the drafts of respective leagues and they have highly paid teams who spend months and assess years of data on hundreds of candidates

Given that interviewing is only a fraction of our job responsibility, and we’re only spending four to five hours with a candidate before we have to make a decision, the answer is we’re probably not getting it right.

  1. Individual performance is not as individual as we like to think
    Pygmalion effect
  • When people believe that you are an outstanding performer, you are more likely to out-perform
  • When people believe that you are an underperformer, you are more likely to underperform

What this means experientially is that our performance is linked to whether our manager believes in us.
Takeaway: Individual performance is inextricably linked to their team


Surgeons who gain experience can improve performance quality significantly, but it’s only relevant to the hospital they are performing. Switch hospitals and the performance improvement seen from the experience disappears

High performing securities analysts who switch employers to a solo career or a team with less resources see decline in performance for at least five years. Those who switched to a team with equivalent capabilities saw a drop for around two years. Those who switched to a team with more resources saw no significant drop in performance.

Questions to ask:

Does your interview process over-index on assessing individual performance?

Does your interview act as a test, where the responsibility of success is on the candidate?


Think of the interview as an exercise in understanding how a candidate can be successful at your company or on your team.

You must be able to:

  • Create conditions for success
  • Condition yourself and your team team to be invested in this candidates future
  • Support the candidate once they join

If you can’t do all of these things, then you’re not ready.

Tailor the interview process to your organization's values in such a way that the interview is aligned with how you evaluate performance.

Look for a history of demonstrations that exemplify the things you value as a company.

Interview with intention